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Can Hamsters Feel Emotions? (From Happiness to Depression)

Can Hamsters Feel Emotions? (From Happiness to Depression)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hamsters are cuddly pets, and they’re naturally highly active and energetic. But this might confuse us if we’re trying to understand them and their emotions.

So, can hamsters feel emotions? Can hamsters feel love?

We’re here to answer all your questions and help you learn more about your hamster.

Can Hamsters Feel Emotions?

Yes, hamsters feel emotions and can even show them through subtle movements and actions. As a pet owner, you need to understand these actions to assess your hamster’s status.

A recent study shows that hamsters can have mood swings, so they might feel happy or upset about something in their surroundings. When they’re happy, they’ll show their affection, and when they’re upset, they might get aggressive.

A hamster’s emotions can affect its life and living conditions, just like humans. So, if your hamster is happy, it will have a more positive outlook on life.

Hamsters can experience various emotions, from happiness to fear, anger, frustration, optimism, and loneliness. You, as a pet owner, should be able to understand what your hamster is going through and amend its surrounding conditions if it’s suffering or upset.

Can Hamsters Feel Love?

Since hamsters are pretty easy to take care of compared to other more demanding pets, they’re probably the perfect choice for a first-time pet owner.

So, you might be wondering if your hamster can feel love.

As a matter of fact, scientists have proven human interaction is crucial for your hamster’s physical and emotional well-being.

A hamster needs to bond with one and sometimes two owners to feel content and safe. Without any human interaction, your hamster will feel scared, disappointed, and rejected.

When the hamster feels you care about it, it will be more energetic and active because it knows it’s safe.

You don’t have to worry much about how to make your hamster feel your affection, as these animals are pretty easy to please. Here are a few tips to help you bond with your hamster and make it feel that you care about it.

  • Always provide your hamster with a comfortable, clean house. Your hamster will realize that you care about its well-being.
  • Make sure that your hamster has enough toys and accessories in its enclosure. These toys keep it entertained and show it that you care.
  • Provide your hamster with fresh and clean food and water. As a caregiver, your hamster will think highly of you.
  • Gain your hamster’s trust by touching it gently. Remember that hamsters are cautious animals, and they will need time to adjust to your scent.
  • Approach your hamster gradually. Every day open the cage and allow the hamster to smell your freshly washed hand until it gets used to your scent.
  • Avoid making quick movements that might startle your pet, as it might try to bite you.
  • When your hamster shows signs of trusting you, scoop it up gently and hold it with both hands. Remember that hamsters have fragile bodies and need to be handled carefully.
  • Stroke your hamster’s body using one finger in the same direction, Don’t press too hard.
  • Show affection regularly so your hamster knows that you really care for it.

How Can I Tell That My Hamster Is Happy?

When the hamster feels that it’s loved and cared for, it will feel happy. Watch out for a few things to show that your hamster feels your love.

  • The hamster makes content squeaking sounds.
  • When you touch the hamster, it doesn’t try to bite you or get away.
  • Your pet can spend some time in your hands without feeling irritated.
  • Your hamster eats its food and plays in its cage.

Can Hamsters Feel Pain?

Since hamsters can experience positive emotions, then they definitely can experience negative emotions like pain.

Unlike other animals like cats and dogs, small animals like hamsters can hide their emotional and physical pain because they’re not as vocal.

However, some telltale signs show that your hamster is experiencing some pain. Understanding these signs can help you modify the pet’s surroundings if it’s in danger.

  • Pay attention to the hamster’s body language. If it looks curled up, hiding, or simply not interacting in a normal way, it could be in pain.
  • Squeaking can show that your pet is hurt. However, squeaking is a little bit tricky to understand because hamsters can also squeak when they’re happy or playing.
  • The pet might avoid eating or eat less, although you’re providing the same type of food. This is usually a sign that it’s sick and suffering from physical pain.
  • The hamster is grooming itself excessively, resulting in matted fur or a grubby coat. This happens when the hamster is actively trying to lick its body to relieve pain.
  • The animal is trying to pull out its fur for the same reason.
  • The hamster isn’t breathing well or is struggling while it’s breathing with its mouth open. This is usually an indication that something is blocking the hamster’s airway.

All these signs might tell you that your hamster isn’t feeling well. Unless you can carefully examine it, we recommend you take it to the vet to thoroughly check it.

Can Hamsters Get Depressed?

Hamsters can feel depressed and anxious like humans. As a matter of fact, some of the reasons that can make humans struggle emotionally can also make your pet hamster upset and depressed.

Studies show that hamsters can feel more depressed and anxious on dark, gloomy days, which humans call seasonal depression. So they might not be as active or playful.

But this is not the only reason why hamsters might be depressed or in a bad mood.

  • Hamsters can feel depressed because of a change in their surroundings. For example, if you have recently moved your hamster to a new enclosure, it might feel a bit anxious until it gets used to its new home.
  • These cuddly pets love human interaction, so if you never pet your hamster or play with it, it will feel sad and depressed.
  • In order to stay emotionally and physically healthy, hamsters need continuous stimulation. A lack of toys, a wheel, ramps, and ladders can make the enclosure too dull for the pet hamster, so it will feel sad.
  • If you’re placing another hamster in the room, one of them might feel depressed because it’s threatened. Hamsters are territorial animals, and they might get too scared because of the presence of another hamster.
  • The presence of a dog or cat can stress your hamster out. Remember that these pets view your hamster as a prey animal, so they might try to attack it.

Do Hamsters Cry?

Yes, hamsters cry, but they don’t cry through tears.

Hamsters cry by screaming so loud, and their scream can be extremely annoying and alarming. Every hamster owner knows that they don’t want to hear this sound because it can be highly unpleasant.

These cuddly pets rarely scream or cry, but they will do when they’re experiencing real pain. Hamsters also cry when they’re stressed or scared.

So, you might hear these loud screams or cries when two hamsters are fighting in the cage.

This might also happen when your pet hamster is experiencing some real pain.

However, if you see some tears in your hamster’s eyes, this is another medical problem, and it’s not an emotional one.

Your furry pet might be allergic to something in the enclosure, or its eyes could be watering because you haven’t cleaned its cage in too long. When the bedding is wet, ammonia accumulates inside the cage, and it can hurt your hamster’s eyes.

Moreover, the tears you see might be a normal discharge that helps moisten the eyes.

Your hamster’s eyes could also react to dust or foreign bodies. You might also notice that the hamster’s eyes are red or swollen.

In this case, it’s best to take your hamster to the vet to remove the debris or any foreign bodies from the eyes.

Final Thoughts

Hamsters can feel different emotions and can also tell when we care about them.

These cuddly pets thrive on daily interactions with humans. So, if you want to show your hamster that you love it, you must ensure it feels comfortable and safe.

Hamsters can also experience different negative emotions like sadness, depression, and pain. Yet, they don’t cry in the way humans do.

They might squeal or scream when they’re intense pain. When they suffer from emotional pain or neglect, they will probably withdraw and stop playing or eating.

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